Learning how to weld can lead you to a fulfilling hobby or long-term career, but…
Have you ever seen a professional heavy equipment operator dress wearing flip-flops while on the job? Probably not, because that shoe selection would be a huge safety violation. There’s a good reason professionals wear the protective gear you see when driving past a work site, and it’s because workers are safer when appropriately dressed for the job they actually do.
Personal Protective Gear for Heavy Equipment Operators
Those flip-flops are unsafe because they don’t protect the feet. A worksite that has heavy equipment is a work site that requires good work boots, usually with steel toes. These boots, along with good socks, are designed to stay on your feet and keep your mind on the job instead of your toes. Other ways to protect your body might vary depending on the type of industry:
- clothing that will keep you from getting caught in moving machinery parts
- gloves that keep your hands from slipping and also protect
- safety glasses that keep dust and other junk out of your eyes
- ear plugs or ear muffs that keep you from going deaf
- respirators or masks that keep silica or other junk out of your lungs
- hard hats that keep your skull from getting cracked
- reflective safety vests that keep you visible
- sunscreen that keeps you from getting skin cancer
- a water bottle that keeps you hydrated
All this protective gear has horror stories behind it — stories of real heavy equipment operators who were injured or killed because they did not have that one thing to protect them. These sad stories are why ATS instructors are required to have National Credentials with NCCER (National Center for Construction Education & Research). This non-profit educational foundation has a mission — to foster a productive, safe, and sustainable workforce. Certifications like NCCER verify that the information being taught has research behind the rules. That protective gear might seem like a hassle, but it keeps you dressed for the job you actually do.